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Blog posts

The 4 Keys to Conducting Personalized Learning Like a Maestro

January 9, 2018

by Troy Strand

I stood facing 47 middle school students. Their eyes were all on me and a hush fell over the gathered audience of families, teachers and community members. For the next eight seconds, they all had one job: wait for my hands to raise. After that, their tasks were vastly different.

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That Hard Passage

January 3, 2018

by Karen Kubin

It has happened already twice this week.

The first time was with my almost-thirteen-year-old daughter, who was working on her new piece and balking at the thought of working out a new passage. “It’s too hard!” she complained. Somehow I managed to get her to play through it slowl…

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Finding Time to Play

October 22, 2017

by Cathy Smetana
Smetana.Cathy@MacPhail.org

I am, first and foremost, a teacher. I do not have a church job, or play for weddings, or do a lot of accompanying. I do not currently have a significant other with whom to share expenses and chores; in spite of my best efforts, my cat Pablo simply bli…

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Learning Styles and Teaching: Recognizing Similarities and Differences

June 1, 2017

Music and the Brain: Melissa Wenszell, April 6, 2017

June 1, 2017

Developing Your Online Presence

October 18, 2016

by Hanno Strydom
Strydom.Hanno@MacPhail.org

I delivered this presentation, Developing Your Online Presence, at a MacPhail Music Learning Lab Idea Exchange on October 18, 2016.

This session is loaded with ideas about why and how to develop an online presence for yourself or your studio. Wi…

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ENVoY Training Part 2

August 9, 2016

by Candis Parrish

In my last post, I emphasized the importance of non-verbal communication and outlined some of the factors the go into the way teachers present themselves in the classroom. This post will cover some practical things you can do in the classroom to improve your non-verbal communica…

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ENVoY Training Part 1

August 9, 2016

By Candis Parrish

Do you ever feel like you’ve planned a standards driven lesson that’s both engaging and fun, only to have it fall flat because you spend more time dealing with behaviors than teaching your class?  Have you tried management systems like breaks and timeouts with limited success?  …

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Incredible Music Teaching Apps for Ipad

August 9, 2016

Jeremy Hanson recently shared some apps that he uses while teaching piano. Click on the image below to view the pdf where you can click on each of the links to learn more. 

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Highlights from NCKP 2015 (National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy)

October 29, 2015

By Cathy Smetana

In July, I was one of several hundred piano teachers to descend upon Lombard, Illinois for the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy.  I’ve attended this conference (or one of its predecessors) many times, and 2015 was one of the best years ever.

The conference is offere…

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“Inspiration through Connection”

October 19, 2015

By Beth Turco 

During your lessons with students, do you feel the pressure to pack in all the information they need to know about technique, music theory and fundamental skills at the instrument? Isn't is difficult to remember to nurture the student's love of music? And how exactly can we …

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Idea Exchange: Tips for Teaching Older Adults

August 10, 2015

By Tamra Brunn
Brunn.Tamra@MacPhail.org

The MacPhail Music for Life™ program is expanding at MacPhail Center for Music and we currently serve over 1,000 adults age 55+ in our student body! Earlier this month we gathered together a panel of experienced Music for Life teaching artists—Jeanie Bri…

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Finding Appropriate Chamber Music Repertoire for Any Ensemble

July 29, 2015

by Jeremy Swider, Chamber Music Coordinator, MacPhail Center for Music
Swider.Jeremy@MacPhail.org

Do you coach chamber music ensembles? Are you in a student chamber ensemble? Do you have trouble finding music of an appropriate level of difficulty for your group or the groups you coach?

Jeremy…

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Music Theory Tutorials

July 17, 2015
By J. Anthony Allen
 
Last summer, David Birrow and I made a series of music theory tutorial videos. Our hope was the these videos would serve to supplement lessons by teachers, who often find themselves explaining these concepts to students. We wanted to make a clear set of videos that went …

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Growing in Flexibility: the (Online) Teaching Experience!

June 24, 2015

by Jennifer Geise
Geise.Jennifer@MacPhail.org

On June 5th I had the opportunity to share about my online piano teaching experience and specifically to talk on the importance of flexibility as a music teacher. Our audience was a great mix of experienced and new-to-online teachers from many instru…

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5 Things I Didn't Know About Teaching Skype Lessons

May 6, 2015

by David Birrow Birrow.David@Macphail.org

Skype

When I started teaching online, I expected that Skype lessons would feel pretty much the same as my in-person​lessons. But now that I teach four or five Skype lessons a week, I know that my initial expectations were inaccurate. For instance, there are …

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Mindfulness: A Path Toward Teacher Wellbeing

March 10, 2015

On March 6, 2015, Jennifer Niedzielski presented a workshop at MacPhail Center for Music entitled Mindfulness: A Path Toward Teacher Wellbeing. (See video at the bottom of this post.)

Click here to vie…

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Tech in the Practice Room: Five iPhone/iPad Apps to Optimize Students’ Practice Time

March 3, 2015

By Guest Author:  Dr. Joel Salvo, Prof. of Cello - St. Cloud State University

During my days as a student, settling into a practice room was akin to setting up camp.  After unpacking my cello, I would empty a tote bag with my tuner, an oversized metronome, some recording gear, and a handful o…

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Why I use my iPad: Communication, Motivation, Tangible Feedback & Music Access

February 26, 2015

by Tiana Malone
Malone.Tiana@MacPhail.org

Communication
In music therapy, communication with families, clients, other therapies and team members, and caregivers is very important. My iPad is an important tool for facilitating that communication.

Evernote is a cloud-based note taking program …

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Setting and Communicating Boundaries with Parents

February 12, 2015

By Dr. Carlynn Savot
Savot.Carlynn@MacPhail.org

The working relationship between a music teacher and students and their parents is a unique one, and its scope can be difficult to define. To provide students with an inspiring and challenging learning environment—and at the same time keep our sani…

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20 Blog Posts